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Virtual Happenings

Music and Performing Arts Professions

The MPAP Virtual Happenings page is a showcase of just a fraction of the exciting work our department continues to produce, even in our current unusual circumstances. These highlights reflect the vibrancy and ingenuity of our students, faculty, and alumni. 

If you would like to send recordings, videos, or photos of any of your projects, please email them to We'll share some of your submissions through our community news email and on this page. During these incredibly challenging times, we want our MPAP community to stay connected. 

Instrumental Performance

String Studies Virtual Recitals

Performances by our String Studies students can now be viewed in two hour-long virtual concerts. The performances were all recorded in spring 2020 as our students sheltered in place. View Concert 1 and Concert 2.

Kate Amrine Arranges Tomasi for Trumpet Octet

Brass Studies alum and faculty member Kate Amrine arranged and recorded the third movement of Henri Tomasi’s Fanfare Liturgiques, “Apocalypse,” for trumpet octet. She also did the audio and video editing, with Music Composition alum Sebastian Zel helping out with the mixing and mastering. Trumpet players from the American Brass Quintet, Met Opera Orchestra, Manhattan Brass, loadbang ensemble, West Side Story on Broadway, Atlantic Brass, and the NY Philharmonic joined her, including Peter Bond from our Brass faculty. Watch on YouTube.

Watch Jared Shaw's Senior Recital

Jared Shaw presented a diverse, thorough, and well-rounded approach to playing percussion in his senior recital for the Percussion Studies program, which he premiered on YouTube on Sunday. The performance featured drum set, xylophone, djembe, and African gyil, as well as a multiple percussion/drum set solo with electronics by Composition faculty member Robert Honstein. Watch the recital.

New Video from Jazz Composition Student

The 15-piece Eyal Vilner Big Band released a new video of Vilner's original song “Downhill.” The song is the opening track of the band's latest album, Swing Out!, which was recorded live in the studio last year. The video recording project is part of a full online remote concert. Vilner, a first-year master’s student in Jazz Composition, explained, "Each of us recorded our parts separately at home and I mixed and edited it all together. It was so nice to reconnect with my friends and colleagues and to swing together, even if just from afar." Watch the video on YouTube.

New Video Features Strings and Woodwinds Artist Faculty

Bassoonist and vocalist Gina Cuffari commissioned double bassist Gregg August in 2018 to write a work involving both singing and playing the bassoon. “Stand Up With Me,” for bassoon/voice, double bass, and piano, was premiered at NYU in February 2019, then recorded in September. Mixing/editing/post-production was done during quarantine. Watch the video.

Beethoven the Contemporary Festival

Artist Faculty and students in Piano Studies, alumni, and special guests will present streamed performances, lectures, master classes, and collegia, celebrating Beethoven's historical innovations and contemporary relevance. Beethoven the Contemporary is co-curated by Eteri Andjaparidze (Artist Faculty) and Marilyn Nonken (Director, Piano Studies). Read the press release and coverage in The Washington Post.

Music Composition

New Video from Joseph Church

Composition and Songwriting faculty member Joseph Church has released a new comedic musical theatre music video, “My Shopping List (A Musical Diversion),” featuring the voice of Vocal Performance adjunct professor Devon Meddock. Dr. Church wrote: “Over this very strange summer, I wrote and made a music video of a song inspired by our unusual times... just something light, for entertainment purposes. With this and similar efforts, I am hoping to find new approaches to musical 'theatre' in the time of COVID – and I'm encouraging my students to do the same.” Watch the video on YouTube.

Screen Scoring Students Featured on UNC Concert Series

Screen Scoring graduate students Noah Balamucki and Fadi Khoury have written a concert work commissioned by the Carolina Performing Arts in association with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The composers presented their piece, Fall and Take Flight, in a Q&A moderated by UNC composition professor Allen Anderson. The event was live streamed in July as part of CPA's Summer Music Series featuring young musicians. Told to write a composition "about the future," the screen composers took a characteristically film music approach; Fall and Take Flight begins with a John Carpenter-inspired synthscape for the apocalypse by Khoury and ends with Balamucki's ode to the optimistic and thrilling music of Star Trek. Watch the premiere and Q&A on YouTube.

Songwriting Alum Connects with Billy Joel

When AJ Smith (BM, 2013; MM, 2014), a vocalist/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who has been making quite the name for himself, recorded and released his latest single, “Billy Joel,” little did he imagine that Billy Joel himself would not only notice but that the legendary artist would share the record via social media. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, Joel sent AJ a private note complimenting the song and inviting AJ to tour with him in 2021. ABC News Radio covered the story. Watch “Billy Joel” by AJ Smith on YouTube.

Business, Technology, and Administration

New Apple Music Radio Show for Music Business Alum

This week Apple Music launched “Africa Now Radio with Cuppy,” curated and hosted by Music Business alum Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola (MA ’16), better known as Cuppy. According to Cuppy, “The show represents a journey from West to East and North to South, but importantly a narrative of Africa then to Africa now.” Listen on Apple Music.

Music Technology Professor’s Team Wins ASCAP-NYC Media Lab Challenge

Pablo Ripollés, our newest Music Technology faculty member, and his team were selected as one of 5 winners of the ASCAP-NYC Media Lab Challenge. They will be given $5,000 to develop their idea into a prototype this summer. Read more about the challenge.

Professor Linda Shelton Discusses the Future of Performance Venues

  Performing Arts Administration Professor and the Executive Director of The Joyce Theater Foundation Linda Shelton joined a discussion hosted by Dance/NYC with large scale presenters and representatives, including Jonelle Procope, President and CEO at Apollo Theater, and Griff Braun, Director of Organizing & Outreach at American Guild of Musical Artists, about the future of dance and performing arts presentation in the metropolitan area. Watch the recorded Facebook Live conversation.


New Book from S. Alex Ruthmann

NYU Steinhardt Music Education and Music Technology faculty member S. Alex Ruthmann published a new book, Scratch Music Projects, with co-author Andrew Brown with Oxford University Press. In this practical, project-based book, music students, educators, and coders receive the necessary tools to engage with real-world experiences in computation and creativity using the programming language Scratch, developed at MIT’s Media Lab. Designed to teach students the fundamental concepts of computational thinking through interactive music, sound, and media, projects vary in complexity and encourage readers to make music through playing and creating music.

"I am Hip Hop!" An Interview with Dance Educator Kim Elliott

Kim Elliott earned her master’s degree in Dance Education before teaching in our department for 11 years. She currently holds a full-time teaching position at Rutgers University and runs her own company, Kim Elliott Dance. She recently answered some questions about her experience as an NYU student and about her dance philosophy. Read the interview.

Telehealth Teamwork: Educational Theatre Students Act as Patients for Aspiring Health Practitioners Across Steinhardt

With the pandemic restricting in-person fieldwork and internship placements, Steinhardt programs came together to help each other's students gain the experiential skills needed to prepare to enter their respective fields. Read the article.

Creative Arts Therapies

Music Therapy Alum Brings Joy to Children’s Hospital

The work of Music Therapy alum and current rehabilitation sciences PhD student Annalissa Vicencio was featured on News 12. Through her work as a music therapist at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, she is helping patients and staff cope during the coronavirus pandemic. Watch on News 12.

CAT Consortium Holds Panel on COVID-19 Response

The NYU Steinhardt Creative Arts Therapies Consortium presented a panel on how creative arts therapists across art, drama, and music therapy have responded over the course of the pandemic. It was chaired by Dr. Nisha Sajnani and Dr. Peter Jampel with panelists Mia de Bethune and Susan Feiner.

Arts and Therapy in the Time of the Pandemic

The Drama, Music, and Art Therapy programs hosted a day of presentations, panel discussions, and workshops exploring the contribution of the arts and arts therapies to health and wellbeing during the 2020 pandemic. See the event listing.

Vocal Perfomance

Ciara Renée Visits Vocal Performance Students

Actress Ciara Renee, who most recently played Elsa in "Frozen" on Broadway, spoke with our Vocal Performance students at their program meeting. Her other Broadway roles include The Witch in "Big Fish" and the Leading Player in "Pippin." Renee shared her experiences as a woman of color from rural Pennsylvania and her dreams of shattering stereotypes in music theatre roles. Our students received an in-depth overview of her struggles and triumphs as she climbed her way to leading roles on Broadway. The talkback was real, raw, honest, and inspiring, and our students left motivated to pursue their own personal dreams in the industry.

Vocal Performance Launches Video Series

Our Vocal Performance program has launched a new video series, “Inside the Virtual Classroom.” The series features the final products of the remote work done in the program’s performance classes this semester, including vocal ensembles, dance, and more. The first videos in the series are from the Pop/Rock Ensemble, Unplugged Ensemble, and Musical Theatre Dance, with more to come.

Vocal Performance Students Create Remote Cabaret Series

Vocal Performance students Abrah Ophelia Katzman and Reese Sebastian Diaz, with the help of adjunct professor Taylor Haven Holt, have created a platform for students in their program to perform - even while Broadway is shut down. The Baker's Dozen cabaret series was launched in April after students' performances were canceled due to COVID-19. Last semester, they featured 12 singers every week from Vocal Performance along with a special 13th Broadway guest performance. This semester they run bi-weekly and feature 13 incredible performers. Tune in to the next cabaret by following the Baker's Dozen Facebook page. (The Baker's Dozen logo was created by VP student Renee Shohet.)